The Green Party has backed German Economy Minister Robert Habeck in his plan to operate two nuclear power plants in reserve in southern Germany by spring 2023.
At the delegates’ meeting on Friday evening in Bonn, a motion by grassroots representatives to block an extension of the lifespan of nuclear power plants failed.
Instead, the party congress supported keeping the Isar II and Neckarwestheim II nuclear power plants in operation as emergency reserves until April 15. The Emsland nuclear power plant, on the other hand, is scheduled to be decommissioned at the end of 2022 – as previously planned for everyone. three construction sites.
However, there is still a dispute over this within the federal government. The FDP demands that the Emsland nuclear power plant continue to operate and even beyond spring 2023.
Habeck’s ministry, whose responsibilities include energy and economic affairs, this week blamed the FDP-led finance ministry for slow progress in presenting the coalition’s current plan for a limited Cabinet extension. and sending it to Parliament for debate.
The Greens supported the prolonged operation of two nuclear power plants, including Isar II
No to new nuclear fuel
The issue also put Habeck in a difficult position with the party base, given the Green Party’s longstanding objection to German nuclear power and the pride he had in being part of the first government to declare that the country would stop using it altogether.
The Greens have said their red line on any nuclear expansion would be the purchase of new nuclear fuel elements. The Greens would not accept any legal regulations in the Bundestag that would buy new nuclear fuel.
Party co-leader Ricarda Lang said during the debate that new fuel rods or a return to nuclear power “is not going to happen with us”. Renewables must be developed and “nuclear power is not the future,” Lang said.
Habeck also described a return to nuclear power as “wrong”, adding: “There is no way this is happening to us”.
As for the operation of the reserve of the two nuclear power plants, he said that “we should not rule out this contribution out of hand” due to the emergence of an energy supply deficit.
The party gathers around Habeck
The energy crisis triggered by the Russian attack on Ukraine affects everyone, businesses and individuals. Habeck has sourced gas from many countries to replace Russian supplies, which has little to do with a sustainable energy supply. And with coal-fired power plants already in operation, the minister could benefit from party support.
Omid Nouripour, one of the two co-leaders of the Greens party, was sure at the start of the meeting that Habeck would get it. He told DW: “Our Cabinet members are taking responsibility. There are no playbooks for the current situation, you have to solve problems at a moment’s notice. And the party thinks that’s right and appropriate.”
“Thoughtfully and with determination,” Habeck said in his fiery speech to the conference, “this is how we lead Germany through the winter, this is how we give Germany security.”
However, he admitted that parts of this path could be painful for the Greens. “But we will never confuse what is the problem and what is the solution. Fossil fuels and nuclear power are the problem,” Habeck said.
With additional reporting from Jens Thurau’s Greens party conference.
dh/msh (dpa, AFP, Reuters)